Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's Electric

This is by far my favorite science topic. I traded in my electricity script for some new ideas. Let the practice be the learning with some online simulations. We built circuits using a simulation website and took that experience to create real circuits to identify materials that will or won't carry electricity. The final challenge comes after vacation. May the force be with us!
After a day of working on simulations, the students had to look at real examples and determine the working parts of circuits in flashlights. They noticed things like:
  • the switch completes the circuit
  • the metal pieces inside of the bulb
  • the lens magnifies the light
  • the metal behind the bulb reflects the light
  • and more

All of this practice finally led us to the point where we built our own working circuits to determine through their own experiments what will and won't carry an electric current.

Just wait and see what they do when they come back!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hour of Code

What the Hour of Code does in a class is far larger than the thinking and planning. The social interactions between some unlikely friends is truly mesmerizing. Watching the children problem solve and interact based upon skills is one of my favorite benefits of our Hour of Code. I hope you get a chance to try out your child's games in Hopscotch.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fifth Graders Pay It Forward

Fifth graders at Francis Wyman reach out to a young lady in need. All she wants is letters for Christmas to make her season bright. Safyre's goal is to fill her Christmas tree with letters and these students are working hard to make her wish come true.

Want to know more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/safyre-terry-girl-who-lost-family-in-fire-has-one-christmas-wish/

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Recess Time = Building Time

Apparently, Hatchet has Made Its Mark!

These students set their sights on making their own shelter as if they were Brian, the main character from the Gary Paulsen novel, Hatchet. To encourage them to continue, the fifth grade teachers got in touch with Sean Musselman, from the Burlington Science Center. He came with supplies, words of wisdom and a few scientific pointers to keep them on track. I can't wait to see how long this lasts. Nice job!

How Can We Prove How Sound Travels Best: Solids, Liquids or Gas

Sound Travels Best Through...

These steps guide us through our many scientific explorations. The students are beginning to grapple with, "This won't work." "We need to try it some other way!" And "What if we tried this instead?"

There's nothing like the moment when the students start to take on the responsibility of planning their own experiments to answer their own questions. In a very slow process, the children are overcoming the obstacles such as the differences between experiments and research, guessing and hypothesizing and test validity - will it happen the same way every time we do it?

Some of their ideas blew my mind. One group tested sound using the cup as a solid, the water in the cup and then just the tuning fork in the air. What they found...well, I guess you have to ask.  Others struggled with the idea of testing sound using their ears to measure. This became an interesting conversation that brought about revisiting that sounds are vibrations.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How tos

Look through the book and consider various ideas for your How to Explain Everything. List at least three
strong ideas here and give three ideas you have about different ways to demonstrate your lesson.

Remember, I did How to Round Numbers. My examples included rounding up, rounding down, rounding using decimals and finally leaving one example for the audience to solve. Once given enough time, I gave the answer.

Be sure that you list three different ideas with three different ways to demonstrate it using something we've learned already.

Idea 1: How to round number

  • round up
  • round down
  • round using decimals
Idea 2: How to add
  • add using zero
  • add without carrying
  • add using carrying
Idea 3: Determining angles
  • example of acute angle
  • example of right angle
  • example of obtuse angle

Friday, November 6, 2015

What Do We Do First Thing Every Morning?

It really depends on the day! Sometimes we read messages in regular print and cursive.
And sometimes, we define new vocabulary using wordsmyth.com. We add these words to our word wall and try to use them in conversation. 

Sometimes, we try to draw pictures of descriptive sentences. 

Occasionally, we finish work for science or Social Studies.

And even still, we might even review some old science topics by visiting BrainPop, Wonderopolis and even more.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Used Bookstore

First used Bookstore

Wednesday, November 18
Bring a quarter or a book  to trade.